What do you do with a great Review?

Stop!  Enjoy!  Writing is a lonely business….oh sure, family and friends read our stuff (sometimes reluctantly) and sometimes they really like what we’ve done!  LOL  But, a good (or great, if we’re so lucky) review from someone who doesn’t sleep in the bed next to us, or sit across the Thanksgiving table from us, or see us at work every day; that’s a rare validation that keeps us writers doing what we do.    Perhaps non-writers don’t know this but most of us who put pen to paper have no idea whether or not what we write is good or worthy of your attention and when we put it out there we hold our breath while it is judged.

The fine folks at BookReview.com have written a thorough (and very complimentary review of “Ten Minutes to Curtain”. Scroll down to take a gander, or click here to read it on the original site.

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Teen Fiction 
Title: Ten Minutes to Curtain! A Collection of Short Plays for the Young Actor
Author: Trisha Sugarek
Rating:  Must Read!
Publisher: CreateSpace.com
Web Page: www.amazon.com
Reviewed by: Eric Jones

Trisha Sugarek is a writer after my own heart. Her work is an ode to life meant to introduce children to the wonders and horrors that make life worth living. Ranging in length and production value, many of her plays invoke the feel of the old morality plays, and inherit their sense of distinction. They have been collected under the aptly titled, “Ten Minutes to Curtain”, and reading them back to back encourages them to be performed together as they flow exceedingly well from the first story of 1920’s poverty, to her final comedy about a loving, and unusual, modern housewife’s bizarre meeting with a multi-millionaire.

“Ten Minutes to Curtain” contains ten mini-dramas meant for middle school or high school production. They are appropriately simple in construction and complex in conflict, lending great emphasis on the characters established in each play. While Sugarek offers brief explanations on the stage sets, she sharply leaves them open to interpretation, allowing for many of the plays to be performed on a blank canvas as might be necessary in a class room or school yard.

“Love Never Leaves Bruises” is the pinnacle of Sugarek’s dramatic angle, and occurs at the peak of the book’s arc. It revolves around an abusive high school relationship between a boy and girl, and the emotional battle that the girl fights with her mother. While being representative of a classic case of high school hormonal imbalance, the play puts a major problem on its face and demonstrates to kids how harmless dating can quickly turn dangerous.

But Sugarek is not content to keep all of her plays in a setting familiar to the children who will be performing them. Her plays encourage an exploration of both time and emotion. “Pan of Potatoes”, “La Verne and Mr. Service”, and “The Waltz” all take place during the 1920s, and while dealing with situations that children can relate to; poverty, dance parties, and poetry, they also introduce them to the work of Robert Service, as well as the social constructs of other periods.

Sugarek’s master work can be cut up and performed in the segments that make up the larger work, but I believe that they would be best served in performance back to back.  The over arching theme is that of children’s natural conflict with parents as they grow older.  It’s an astonishing work that finds a way to say so much with so little, and turns the bare stage into every young man and woman’s living room. A perpetual battle ground for issues of trust and mistrust, laughter and misery, overwhelming loss and astounding triumph. ~~BookReview.com

We writers are very self-critical……but remember to stop and enjoy the successes….something that you know is well written….your book sales….or a review that tells you that you are on the right track.  You deserve it!!


Bullies! Déjà-vu in the most horrific way!

cyber-bullying, bullying, girls who bully, short plays for teens, high school, middle school   A few weeks ago I published four short plays addressing cyber-bullying and verbal bullying in our schools.  My hope was that if teens and their teachers read these plays (and performed them in their classroom) it would maybe open a dialogue about this deadly practice.

In “You’re Fat, You’re Ugly…”  Aanya is a beautiful, talented student, much like Amanda Todd, who is driven to attempted suicide by her peers’ relentless bullying.  In “Cyber-Hate” Cathy is the victim of bullying that leads to violence. “The Bullies” is about boys who bully.

I wrote these plays depicting different variations of bullying…..Fiction based on dry statistics.

And now in today’s headlines we read about Amanda Todd, (age 15) a beautiful young girl who just couldn’t take anymore.  She felt her only option to escape this form of terrorism (bullying) was to take her own life.  It saddened me and my love and prayers go out to her family and friends.  This pointless loss of a young woman’s life also outraged me. Amanda’s cry for help (I assume) was a previous attempt at suicide by drinking bleach.  Her stalker-bully wrote a message to her, “Try harder.”  What kind of monster does this??

‘Amanda Todd, a Vancouver-area teenager who posted a story to YouTube last month about being cyber-bullied, was found dead Wednesday night in Coquitlam, Canada. Authorities believe she committed suicide.  Amanda’s video tells a heart-wrenching story of the bullying she was subjected to — both online and off. “In 7th grade,” she begins, sharing her message on cue cards, “I would go with friends on webcam [to] meet and talk to new people.” At one point, a stranger flattered her into flashing the camera…..

One year later, a man contacted her on Facebook, threatening to send around the picture of her topless “if [she] don’t put on a show.” Terrifyingly, the stranger knew everything about her: her address, school, friends, relatives, and the names of her family members. Soon, her naked photo had been forwarded “to everyone.”Amanda developed anxiety, depression, and anxiety disorders, she says in the video, followed by a path into drugs and alcohol.’ ~~ Huffington Post

We, as the adults, MUST take control of this deadly game that teens are playing.  Maybe the bullies need to see their parents go to jail for their actions.   After all, these bullies are just children,  and the parents are ultimately responsible for their child’s behavior.  The buck stops at the parents’ door step.


                                                                                            SAVE LIVES!

More resources re: Bullying, Cyber-bullying

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